Agencies begin effort to suppress gambling on the World Cup

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Bangkok – Relevant agencies have brought anti-gambling measures into full operation now that the World Cup has begun.

Deputy Commander of the Royal Thai Police Pol Gen Chalermkiat Sriworakan undertook inspections Thursday of restaurants and entertainment venues in the RCA and Ratchadaphisek areas of Bangkok looking for signs of football betting on the first day of World Cup 2018. He has asked for cooperation from education institutions to dissuade students from gambling and revealed that the owner of one bookie website was arrested on June 1 along with raids on several betting dens.

Deputy Commander of the Metropolitan Police Pol Maj Gen Panurat Lakboon, who is directing the World Cup 2018 Gambling Suppression and Prevention Center, says arrest warrants have been issued for 15 net idols and pretties who were promoting online betting. Among them are noted individuals Jesse Ward and Saitarn Wangprasert. They have been instructed to report to police on June 20.

The Stop Gambling Network has at the same time launched the campaign “No One’s Betting on this World Cup” and has had fancy-dressed promoters pass out pamphlets on the ills of gambling, focusing on youths.

The Health Promotion Foundation’s Gambling Studies Center believes 2.4 million Thais are engaged in football betting with combined funds of 140 billion baht. Up to 82.6 percent of youths who begin gambling on football are likely to expand such behavior into other risk areas throughout their lives.